- Auton, R, chief executive, Crane Association of New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2014.
- Department of Building and Housing, New Zealand Housing and Construction Quarterly, December 2013, accessed March 2014, (www.dbh.govt.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Canterbury Skills Shortage List', accessed April 2014.
- McClintock, J, operations manager, Certified Builders Association, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2014.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2003-2012 Occupation Data’ (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2014.
- Statistics New Zealand, 'Building Consents Issued February 2014', accessed April 2014, (www.stats.govt.nz).
- Steeman, M, Wood, A, Stuff website, 'Christchurch rebuild set to accellerate', January 2013.
Crane OperatorAlternative titles
This job is sometimes referred to as:
- Container Crane Operator
- Mobile Crane Operator
Crane operators use cranes to lift and move objects, such as building materials on construction sites, shipping containers on wharves or heavy parts for the manufacturing industry. There are many diffferent types and sizes of cranes.
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What are the chances of getting a job?
Construction activity increasing
Crane operators are employed across a range of industries, but the single biggest source of employment is the building and construction industry, particularly the commercial (non-residential) building sector.
The building and construction industry is steadily improving and with it demand for crane operators. Much of this work is in Auckland and Christchurch, although the amount of work being undertaken is increasing in most regions.
While demand for people with experience is good, people with no or little experience will likely find it harder to find work.
Opportunities average outside of the building and construction industry
Opportunities for crane operators in most industries other than building and construction are average. Crane operators in industries such as shipping and manufacturing tend to stay in the role for a long time, so turnover among workers is low. However, many crane operators are reaching retirement age, which is creating some openings.
Crane operator employers mostly involved with construction
Most crane operators work in the building and construction industry. However, some are also employed in:
- machinery equipment hire and leasing
- water transport (operating dockyard cranes).
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Progression and specialisations
People usually start out in craning as dogmen, securing loads and advising the crane driver from the ground. They may then move on to operating mobile cranes and tower cranes. Crane operators may progress to supervisory and managerial roles.
There are many different kinds of cranes, each requiring specific skills. Crane types include:
- mobile cranes
- crawler cranes
- tower cranes
- truck-mounted cranes
- travelling gantry cranes
- overhead cranes
- container and harbour cranes.
Crane operators might also be involved with crane site supervision, and rigging and slinging (securing) of loads.
How many people are doing this job?
Job vacancies by region
Updated 20 May 2014